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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  March 7, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EST

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super tuesday is now super wednesday. we learn the results of a nail-biter in ohio only minutes >> tonight, mitt romney and rick santorum divide the super tuesday spoils. romney scoring wins in vermont, virginia, massachusetts, idaho and the night's biggest battleground, ohio. >> we're going to take your vote and take that victory all the way to the white house. >> santorum claiming victory in tennessee, oklahoma and north
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dakota. >> this was a big night. we have won in the west, the midwest and the south. and we're ready to win across this country. >> republicans in ten states have their say. hundreds of delegates are being awarded tonight. will the gop field change in any big way once the super tuesday dust settles? this campaign isn't over. more than half the states still haven't voted and no one has the gop nomination locked up yet. and welcome to the special edition of "ac 360." in ohio, win colossal cliffhanger. went to the early hours but cnn is now projecting ohio will go to mitt romney. the state now up on the map in romney red along with
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massachusetts, vermont, virginia, and idaho. rick santorum in purple scoring victories in north dakota, oklahoma and tennessee. newt gingrich picking up georgia, alaska still up for grabs at this hour. and john king has been following the count of all night. let's look at the stakes. >> the most important battleground, the biggest contested battleground, took us a while, but governor romney has won the state of ohio. we see 96% of the vote counted. we see the lead there in the ballpark of 12,000 votes statewide. santorum swept across the rural areas, big margins but governor romney won big. hamilton county, critical to governor romney tonight. this is the cincinnati area. in the suburbs around it. it's critical in the republican primaries an a pivotal swing county. come november, 20 points over santorum there. romney organization doing the job there. way up from the southwest corner of the state to the northeast
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part of the state, cuyahoga county where cleveland is, the very important suburbs along the lake up here. again, nearly a 20-point edge for governor romney in these areas. the big turnout there helping form governor romney when you pop it out. summit county where akron is, a big win for governor romney there. move down a little bit here against stark county. again, statewide, the romney wins in the urban areas, off setting a santorum sweep. what it gives you is it gives you a romney red in the middle of the country. the big battleground state of ohio. it's important for delegates and anderson, it's important for the romney campaign psychology to say we're up to 13 states. count 14 if alaska goes his way as we go into the morning. >> it's a big night, certainly not as big of a night as they would have liked. not clear wins as they would have liked. let's get some reaction from the democrats and republicans. ari fleischer, mitt romney is still losing among white evangelical voters.
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among strong tea party supporters and among people who say religion is important to them. what does he have to say? >> mitt romney's fundamental problem is like it was at the beginning. he still has a problem with the base. that base problem may make him more attractive to independents if he makes it to the general. but he hasn't been able to address and i suspect he never will unless he grinds it out. we go into basically a march lull. there really are no big nights left. there's one night where you have two contests but there's not a more than two contest a night primary night. until april. and that means that it does the potential the go on and romney has to grind it out. keep an eye on his money. if it starts to dry up he'll have some trouble. >> but a number of southern states coming up and this gives newt gingrich a little bit of an have a advantage going forward. >> you know, governor perry said tonight, this wasn't a super
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night for anyone. and the reason why is because mitt romney should have won ohio. it should not have gone until way past midnight to figure out if he could bring in more urban votes or more suburban votes. mitt romney has a fundamental problem. he cannot, you know, coalescing the right. he cannot win independent voters. so this race will continue to go on. he will accrue more delegates than the other guys, but that's not saying much in a field that's very weak. >> you know, i just -- i think this drags out for a while but i think with ohio, the inevitable will start setting in republicans came into iowa by a process that hadn't even started. they're more exhausted now. i'm seeing more and more conservatives who aren't romney fans starting to say, you know what, it's time to start fighting barack obama and stop fighting ourselves. i think coalescing will start happening. he has to get through a
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difficult time in march. i think "the new york times" they're morning stories is when does romney say, you know what, i may be winning but not winning well. do i need to make staff adjustments? >> you know, the time period is key here. it will be several more weeks before you get back to a big state that romney has a chance to overpower in illinois and missouri. but so, you know, my favorite part of the president's press conference today was when he wished mitt romney well tonight. i think it was because he was remembering back in 2008 his own primary which was a slog, you know, it took forever. i think that's what mitt romney has to look forward to. the difference though is as we heard yesterday in the wall street poll, is having a corrosive effect on the favorables. the unfavorable number is shooting up because all he's
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doing is spending the millions of dollars on negative advertising and it's that positive message is not getting through. that's why this primary is bad for romney. >> wolf, at the end of tonight, nobody is close to dropping out. >> no. let's see what happens next week. and just to be precise what the president of the united states said to mitt romney tonight was good luck as opposed to -- >> then he said really? >> but all he wanted to say, and so where do we go from here, gloria? >> well, we have the kansas caucus and we have learned that the santorum campaign buoyed by their wins are going to drop a million bucks into kansas. we have mississippi and alabama and hawaii and those are fertile areas for santorum. i think this race continues. i think everybody had a reason to live tonight. >> because newt gingrich thinks he'll do win in mississippi and alabama.
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he's won south carolina and georgia so far. >> that's right. newt gingrich is going head to head with santorum. i think romney will probably lose the states. mitt romney faces the prospect he's going to lose a few states here in the next few weeks. doesn't have a big one to get to. i think that point was made by hillary. but, you know, it's so interesting. coming here to ohio, you'll remember this, i think. but ohio, woody hayes and the ohio state football team. three yards and a cloud of dust. that was his offense. they ground it out and they won it. but it wasn't pretty and today's football teams are different. that's mitt romney's campaign. three yards and a cloud of dust. >> big, big delegate win tonight. this was important for us because we're counting delegates between idaho, massachusetts, virginia and santorum's problems in ohio. so but it's not dramatic. and it's not a coalescing in any way shape or form around mitt romney.
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it's kind of a grudging sort of -- across the finish line. >> he has a terrific organization compared to the three other opponents and he's got a lot more money. >> he's got a lot better organization and he did run once before. he's a much more mature candidate than then. >> the fact that he was on the virginia ballot and santorum was not and newt gingrich was not and the fact that santorum couldn't even get on all of the ballots in ohio. >> absolutely. i think that's right. and santorum continues to have a campaign that's underfinanced and not as organized as it should be. but the other thing that, wolf, that's starting to happen is that president obama is starting to get much more directly involved in campaigning almost directly against these guys. what's pretty obvious is for mitt romney is that obama is in a much higher league than what he's been competing in. and for him to compete against obama, he's going to have to get a lot more nimble.
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he has to be a lot more effective. obama is sort of dancing around. >> obama is great campaigner. he'll have hundreds of millions of dollars. get ready for a general election. anderson, if you think this has been tough so far, just wait. >> a lot more money to be poured in. our special coverage continues through it this hour. up next, john king crunching the numbers, showing how the night broke down. what it may mean for the candidates in the weeks ahead. later, a rare opportunity to hear from sarah palin on this network. we'll ask her her plans for the 2016 and the possible role in election 2012. weight loss programs can be expensive. so to save some money, i just got the popular girls from the local middle school to follow me around. ew. seriously? so gross. ew. seriously? that is so gross.
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our special coverage continues right now. ohio keeping us up pretty light. we're projecting that mitt romney will win the delegate count. santorum is keeping it close, but there are questions about whether he has the organizational stamina for a longer battle.
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the question about newt gingrich remains, did he win big enough in georgia to revive his national chances? you can write your own head line. here's what the candidates had to say. >> it's been a long road getting to super tuesday. let me be honest. and my opponents have worked very hard. >> everywhere we were when we won the vote went up. when wall street won, the vote went down. which i think is a pretty bad sign for this fall if we end up with a wall street candidate. >> there wasn't a single state in the list i just gave you where i spent more money than the people i was able to defeat to win that state. and every case we overcame the odds. >> so if you look at the candidates today, there is very little difference except for one. >> let me be very clear. i believe that i am the one
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candidate who has the ability to debate barack obama decisively. >> to the millions of americans who look around and can only see jobs they can't get, and bills that they can't pay, i have a message. you have not failed. you have a president that's failed you and that's going to change. >> it's one thing to defend a mandated top down government run healthcare program that you imposed on the people of your state. it's another thing to recommend and encourage the president of the united states to impose the same thing on the american people and it's another thing yet to go out and tell the american public that you didn't do it. >> these days, you're the president of this team they keep telling us that things are getting better. but 24 million americans are still struggling for work. they're high-fiving each other in the west wing, but my friends, the truth is 8% unemployment is not the best america can do. it's just the best that this administration can do.
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>> what i'm talking about are real cuts. actually cutting, but you can't do this unless you change policy. if you expect to have welfare benefits from cradle to grave, free meld cal care and free education, you can't do it. if you expect to be the policemen of the world and advocate preemptive war, if you want that kind of foreign policy, you can't do it. if we don't change policy we'll end up in a financial crash. >> remember when it was tim pawlenty who would crowd me out and michele bachmann and then our good friend, herman cain for the first time and then it was donald trump for an almost. then it was rick perry and then it was herman cain and now it's santorum. it's all right. there are lots of bunny rabbits
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that run through. i'm the tortoise. i take it one step at a time. >> the tortoise. exit polling in ohio shows romney had the edge among working women. and santorum had the other edge. working women may have cost santorum the race. the contraception has been front and center. and here's part of what they have said. >> no it's the denying them access to birth control. this is outrageous. the bottom line is you have the federal government now saying we'll give you a right and then saying by the way, we're going to tell you how to exercise that right. we're going to control you, a religious, a church affiliated group and if you don't like it, tough. because our rights to tell you what to do trumps your deeply held convictions about what your
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dollars should be spent for. >> just this last week, this same administration said that churches in the institutions they run such as schools and let's say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees free of charge contraceptives. think what that does to people in faiths who do not share those views. we must have a president who is willing to protect america's first right, a right to worship god. >> it's not about access to contraception. people who want to can get access to contraception every day. it is a question about whether or not a religiously affiliated institution should be forced by the federal government. >> but sort of along the line of the pills, creating the immorality, i don't see it that way. i think the immorality is wanting to create the pills.
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>> comments made by rush limbaugh took the debate in another direction. in terms of this whole issue on contraception and religious freedom, how do you think this has played out? do you think this did hurt rick santorum in ohio among single women voters can? >> well, based on exit polls, women went for mitt romney 42-38%. so it might be helping mitt romney especially in these states where he's winning by just a very slim margin. >> i would think looking at the exits, i think to the extent that it hurt rick santorum it was because santorum never went back to talking about job and the economy. he focused on the cultural issues and when he tried to pivot pack to the jobs issues, he went back to the prior statements. he didn't try to steer the message back to jobs and the economy in ohio. i think it hurt him in michigan to a degree. he focused on cultural issues to
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the expense of talk about jobs issues. not trying to handle them both. >> you know, mitt romney is basically doubled down on every single position rick santorum has taken. so there's this sort of perception that somehow santorum is nor conservative on these social issues. whereas romney has really said that he agrees with them that contraceptions shouldn't be available on choice. the key issue is people don't believe about mitt romney. it's a message frame that says we don't trust you. he believes it will help him move more to the center in the general election, but i think it will add to this message frame that he's somewhat insincere. from democratic perspective, the one interesting thing, we know from our internal polling on the democratic side that women weren't paying as much attention to this election as men were. women are now paying attention. that's really interesting. >> from the republican standpoint do you believe that romney has moved far to the right?
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>> no, i don't, not at all. >> he says he has. >> i think mitt romney has been staying pretty straight and true, especially on economics. i think he's a tactical changes on his tax plan. but for rick santorum -- >> are you serious? >> i think that rick santorum, he looking at tennessee's exit polls, he won the men by nine points, women by five points. he has a problem with women because of the way he talked about this issue. he has to address it if he -- >> but the point that he made is the point. he doesn't even believe mitt romney's positions himself. mitt romney has said on immigration he's as conservative as rick santorum. on contraception he's as conservative as rick santorum, but nobody believes him. >> but there's a way that you communicate that makes people attractive to you or pushed away from you. that's part of rick santorum's problem.
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i don't think romney has that. the other thing that you notice, it's so much harder to run for president than it was to run for senator or governor. everyone learns along the way. remember when clinton said she talked about getting off the plane and getting shot at by sniper fire and you can't get away with saying that. mitt romney and rick santorum have had their problems too. it's all stepping up to the presidential level. >> so you're saying he's grown on the issues? >> look, i'm not go -- i'm not going get into romney and positions because they change. but going into the point gloria made earlier, romney is winning on the electability argument. the grounds on which you're electable shift, but what i'm struck by what gloria said earlier tonight, santorum is winning with people who feel he connected with them.
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and romney is having hard time with the base of the republican party connecting with him. he's doing to go into this -- i think after ohio he is going to be the nominee. still going to be a slog for him, but he'll get it. when he goes into the general election what needs the people with him. will they call for him, will they phone bank, will they give money? the enthusiasm is going to be there to beat barack obama, but not -- >> we have to take a break. >> i'm laughing because in the age of twitter we have a video. >> a ve of what? >> of romney shifting further and further to the right. >> former governor romney did shift his position from being progay and pro-choice. i think that being shift took place years ago. and it's tainted him. and people wonder will he hold the view? >> he's shifted the position on healthcare. >> you're a man too. president obama -- >> i don't have a man. >> president obama has flip-flopped on so many issues himself. i think that's going to be --
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>> that's always your fault line. oh, let's just blame the democrats. the point is that -- >> it's a campaign. >> the fault line, you can't talk about anybody. >> i want to give governor romney one little bit of credit tonight. he's winning the catholic vote. not my vote. but he's winning the catholic vote. >> all right. still ahead, ten states down. a long road ahead. all four candidates are vowing to fight to the end. john king is at the wall and he'll show us where it stands now is. and what can happen in tampa as the delegate fight goes on.
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we went up against enormous odds. not just here in the state of ohio where who knows how much we were outspend, but in every state. there wasn't a single state in the list that i just gave you where i spent more money than the people i was able to defeat to win that state. in every case, we overcame the odds. >> that was rick santorum tonight in ohio. ten states held votes today, 419 delegates were at stake. it takes 1,144 delegates to clinch the nomination. john king has been crunching the numbers all night at the wall. john? >> so here are the victories, anderson. 13 for romney so far. the santorum states are in purple. alaska still in play tonight. romney is leading.
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see what happens there. so you take the states you're winning, winning is one thing. what do you get for delegates is another. here's where we stand. governor romney started with 207 delegates. he'll end somewhere in the ballpark of 400. let's say for the sake of argument it holds up in alzheimer. and santorum would be in second place. now an important point to make. you need 1,144. a long way from victory, however, it's a long way ahead of anybody else. so the question is where do you go from here as we go forward? let's go a couple of stops forward. i don't want to overcomplicate this. a significant lead for romney. the kansas caucuses are next, the guam, the virgin islands i'll leave them out. let's assume that santorum wins kansas.
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he would come back a little bit. romney will get some delegates in the mix. then we come forward from there. here's the biggest question. in the next week it's a gingrich versus santorum question. can santorum do well in the south or does the momentum that gingrich has from georgia and south carolina carry over? and if gingrich wins both states, then he can plausibly be on television saying at least i'm back in the hunt with santorum. if santorum can win the south, not only would it raise questions about gingrich's viability period, santorum would say i'm the only one with a prayer. the question going into next week who emerges from alabama and mississippi? does anyone emerge from alabama and mississippi saying i'm the alternative, santorum's campaign saying gingrich should get out. gingrich said no way. we might be asking that to one of them or the other next week.
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>> one thing you can say about the 2012 primary race, almost everyone has had a chance to claim victory. ron paul spoke before most of the votes were counted. here's how the other three sized up their performance. >> this was a big night tonight. lots of states. we're going to win a few. we're going to lose a few. but as it looks right now, we're going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a whole passel full of silver medals. we have won in the west, the midwest and the south and we're ready to win across this country. >> tonight, we have taken one more step towards restoring the promise of tomorrow. tomorrow we wake up and we start again. and the next day we'll do the same. and so we'll go day by day, step by step, door by door. heart to heart. there will be good days, there will be bad days. always long hours.
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never enough time to get everything done. but on november 6, we're going to stand united. >> remember when it was tim pawlenty who was going to crowd me out? and remember then when it was michele bachmann? and then it was our good friend herman cain the first time? and then donald trump almost? and then it was rick perry and then herman cain the second time and new it's santorum. it's all right. there are lots of bunny rabbits that run through. i'm the tortoise. i take one step at a time. >> let's bring back david gergen and why is romney unlikely to do well in mississippi and alabama next week? >> count the ways. first of all, he's mormon and i think the religion -- gloria and i have been talking about this tonight. there's more resistance to a
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mormon in places like that. a lot of resistance to catholics in earlier times as you remember. secondly, he doesn't speak the language quite as well. there's a question that's been asking, can you trust him if you're a true conservative? there's a lot of true conservatives and evangelicals in that area. i think it's more naturally more newt gingrich than santorum. i think santorum is great for the border states. but when you come down to a deep south, that's a very different culture. >> he did win in tennessee tonight, rick santorum. that's an impressive win. >> yes, it was an impressive win for him. and it was troubling i think for mitt romney because tennessee is not what you'd consider the deep south. we spoke about this earlier. tennessee has urban areas that tend to elect moderates.
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you have senator corker with a long history, bill frist, howard baker. so it was an opportunity for mitt romney which he didn't -- he didn't win. i think he does have a problem in the south. i think he has to prove that he can win in the south other than in the state of florida. >> let's say santorum wins. let's say hypothetically in alabama and mississippi, what does that mean for newt gingrich? >> i think he's basically out. if he can't take -- >> if he's out, where do those votes go? >> i think most will go to santorum. >> instead of romney? >> in texas they would go to santorum. i'm not sure in every state that's the case. maybe at that point, you know, if romney then wins some big states i think the momentum will return to him. but he's got to win this destiesively and not grind it out. and -- >> i think he'll crawl across the finish line. if i'm mitt romney i want to keep both newt gingrich and rick santorum in this race to divide
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conservative voters. i'm not sure i want a one-on-one with rick santorum at this particular point. you know, why not keep them both in there? >> ironically -- >> gloria makes a good point. because at the top of mitt romney's speech tonight, he praised the three others as opposed to the other candidates -- >> yeah. >> praise newt gingrich after those negative ads? >> it was better for romney than santorum to win georgia. >> anderson, back to you. >> just had the news sarah palin made tonight. we'll tell you about it ahead. sarah palin for president, 2016, is it possible? polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space, which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire, td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life.
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sarah palin for president, 2016, is it possible? >> anything in this life, in this world is possible. anything is possible for an american. you know, i don't discount any idea or plan at this point it isn't in my control. anything is possible. >> but would you seriously consider a run? >> i would seriously consider whatever i can do to help our country. to help put things back on the right track. the economy, the foreign policies that we have to see put forward in order to secure our homeland and the americans are brave, fighting men and women who are overseas in places that we shouldn't be right now. anything i can do to help, i will be willing to help. >> that was sarah palin talking
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about a possible 2016 presidential run. but she really raised some eyebrows talking about 2012 as you'll see in this interview with cnn's paul vercammen. >> there are five men running for president and i think barack obama is the worst choice, the last choice. the four in front of them as they duke it out in the arena of ideas and solutions to propose, the more of that the better. >> sarah palin for president, 2016. is it possible? >> anything in this life, in this world is possible. anything is possible for an american. and, you know, i don't discount any idea or plan that at this point it isn't in my control. anything is possible. >> would you seriously consider a run? >> i would seriously consider whatever i can do to help our country. to help put things back on the right track. the economy. the foreign policy proposals that we have to see put forward in order to secure our homeland
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and the americans especially, brave fighting men and women who are overseas right now in places that perhaps we shouldn't be right now. anything that i can do to help i will be willing to help. >> this year for, what's issue number? >> the economy and the military needs and having a family member in the war zone right now, intimately aware of some foreign policy proposals that the gop is putting forth that i believe will help strengthen the military. the troops, the benefits that they have earned. so a lot of those are important to me. but of course the economy. getting the job market back. we do that by developing resources that we have up here in alaska. our oil, our natural gas. all those things that are near and dear to the alaskans' heart are certainly near and dear to the americans' heart. we have to get working on it with the economy. >> one more question from wolf.
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>> i know that's a delay between me and you. but thank the former governor for all of us. a quick question for her. i'm just curious how she's been reacting to this whole rush limbaugh controversy with this georgetown university law student, because there was some vile words that were uttered by some liberal democrats as far as sarah palin was concerned. i wonder if she wants to weigh in on this controversy. >> wolf wants to know if you want to weigh into the controversy. he said some vile words were thrown around some directed after you, the rush limbaugh to the georgetown woman. >> i think the hypocrisy was for rush limbaugh, he was forced to apologize and never is that the
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same applied to the leftist radicals who say horrible things about the handicapped, the women, the defenseless. i think that's the definition of hypocrisy. >> a last question from john king. todd, me apologize. he's -- >> we thought we'd get busted walking through here. here you are. >> paul, i would ask the governor how likely there's a possibility of an open convention? if this is an open convention and someone approached her and said, governor palin i want to place your name in nomination, would she stop them? >> is the open convention question -- if we wind up with an open convention, that someone wants to place your name, would you stop them? >> anything is possible. i don't -- i don't close any doors that perhaps would be open out there.
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so no, i wouldn't close that door. and my plan is to be at that convention. >> i thank you profusely for stopping. >> you are a lucky dude that i did. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. i appreciate todd stopping and your family as well. >> thanks for being in wasilla. >> thank you. we're glad to be here. as we said not just to sarah palin, but they expect as many as a thousand people will come through here. wasilla, very exciting. a wild card. they're not sure how it will go tonight. you have no political pull, sarah. do you feel like anybody has a advantage here? >> there's a strong libertarian streak here so ron paul will do well here. and romney, he did well here four years ago. newt gingrich is spot on with the energy development. and alaskans is so red that rick
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santorum could be very well too. kind of i think a microcosm of the rest of the country, things are up in the air. we don't know. >> and if i might add, they say that santorum has been running very well among evangelical christians. >> sure. which i am one. but again, all four candidates are great. and the four men you men someoned are better than the incumbent. >> and sarah palin said she voted for gingrich. right now, back with gloria borger and david gergen. interesting to see her on our air, she is paid by fox. there's no chance -- she may be at the convention, but you don't see any possible role for her. this year? >> well, in this presidential race, no. she's not going to be a candidate. she's not going to be the white knight that comes in and rescues the party.
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i think she's going to be an important voice for whomever gets the nomination. i presume she'll support as she said tonight whoever gets the nomination. by the way i want to correct her, i don't think we were lucky. i think we were good. we were in wasilla. we were in alaska, and -- >> the importance of having reporters as we have seen throughout being in the right place at the right time. >> exactly. but i think -- i thought it was interesting that when she was asked about 2016 she didn't give the political answer which is i'm going to vote for the republican for re-election. >> david gergen, you don't see a political future for sarah palin as a candidate? you think the business of sarah palin has taken on a life of its own. >> i think she loves being sarah palin inc. she didn't like being governor very much. she wants to be the large personality. mega personality, that has a lot of influence in politics. she's having fun, making money she never had before.
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a lot of people are seeking her autographs. i think she's having fun out there and i think -- i don't think she's seriously wants to run. if she wanted to run, she would have jumped in. >> she seemed comfortable in the interview. and enjoying it. >> yes, she did. she seemed fresh too. the woman -- i don't think she was much of a governor, but she's got a remarkable flair for publicity. >> you heard sarah palin talk about the convention and we'll take you inside the virtual convention and how it might play out in august. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less.
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it's been a long road. getting to super tuesday, let me be honest. and my opponents have worked very hard. i want to congratulate newt gingrich on a good night in georgia and rick santorum on his good night and ron paul for his steadfast commitment to our constitution. and his strong support almost everywhere you go. >> mitt romney in boston giving a nod to his opponents after winning his home state and hours before the ohio race was called for him. super tuesday now in the books. but plenty of big prizes still ahead. tonight, tom forman is taking us on a virtual convention to give us a sense of how the delegate count may shift from here on out.
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>> as we have tracked all the developments all evening, you can see how the landscape of delegates here at the virtual convention has been changed by the voting today. let's take our camera way up high for a better look. remember the delegate count is all that really matters and at this point this is our best calculation about how today's delegates will be divided. newt gingrich on the left here picks up his home state of georgia and more than 60 delegates. ron paul over on the right dprabs a little more than a dozen. rick santorum in purple here hits hard with wins in tennessee, oklahoma, north dakota and a strong showing in ohio. we have marked him down for more than 70 new delegates, but now we add mitt romney. he had not only the most delegates coming into the night, but how he's also added to the lead. picking up massachusetts, idaho, vermont, virginia and then that big win in ohio. he'll get well over 175 new
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delegates on his team. but it is important to consider what's ahead. some very big prizes still looming. the california primary for instance with the largest number of delegates up for grabs. texas is also huge. more than 300 delegates will be divided up from the two states alone. still, what if the candidates arrive here and no one has enough delegates to win the nomination after the first vote? at that point, all bets are off. then look what might start happening. huge floor fights. delegates would be free to change their votes, arm twisting and deal making would break out. someone who is not on the ballot might be drafted, like jeb bush or chris christie or mitch daniels. no one knows what happens. all we can say for certain at that point, the vips would indeed become very important. they are more than 100 top party
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players unpledged delegates who can vote for whomever they wish. many of them have already stated a preference for mitt romney but if he seems wounded, they can change their minds. in any event, if there is a floor fight for the nomination, and it cannot be resolved, they would have the final word in selecting the nominee. very few republicans want to see that happen for a simple reason. it would expose deep divides between the party itself and there is something even more important. nominees who emerge from divided conventions like that rarely as you know win the general election. >> i love that virtual convention. those people the delegates at that virtual convention very well behaved. >> not only that, they're actually selling virtual souvenirs. i have picked up a virtual weeble. at the convention. they're selling like hot cakes over there.
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>> they were screaming, very polite. >> virtual beard? >> if you take the beard off it's anderson. >> a transformer. >> let's get a quick final thought from everybody. >> i think that's unlikely, it's something in the back of the mind of every republican until mitt romney can prove -- he proved a lot by winning five or six states. as tom noted he picks up the majority of the delegates. winning gets you delegates. where are we two or three weeks from now? has romney pulled away? >> i learned tonight this is going to go on and on and on. >> right. i think mitt romney has won the delegates tonight. maybe a majority of those delegates, but he has to win the hearts of conservative republican voters. hasn't done it yet. >> we want to thank all our panelists and contributors tonight. it has been a fascinating -- how long has it been? eight hours. been a fascinating eight hours. see you tomorrow night, 8:00 eastern for another edition of
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